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DONE done done!!!

Oh my goodness and what a tour it was. Worth every dry eye, dry lip, and backache. I have been off accutane since August and I would do it again in a heart beat. My hair is almost back to normal, some of the skin oiliness is coming back, but my eyes and lips were normal in about a week. I don't wear makeup anymore. It's amazing. I did have a teeny tiny breakout around my cycle (5 micro mini pimples on my forehead). So worth it. so so so worth it. If it gets any where near what it was, I'm going back to my doc and I'll do a second course. I have a follow up appt with my derm in december, so we'll see what he says for maintenance. I hope hope hope hope above all hopes that it doesn't come back. If it does, oh well, here goes another few more months of uncomfortable-ness for clear skin. We shall see. To anyone out there wondering, Accutane is a very serious drug. It messes with your system and you better take care of yourself while you're on it. But it worked wonders for me and I'm so glad I did it. If your skin affects your self esteem, do it. That is, if you've tried everything else. Because you never know, you may not be serious enough for it and something less invasive will take it out.

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

09/24/2010

 

Almost done with month 3

Symptoms: dry eyes, more itchy than ever now that spring is around and my allergies are kicking in. Thank you again visene. Dry lips, but all managed with aquaphor. My only complaint is that it's super shiny and it looks like I wear gloss all the time. Dry hair, I messed up my knee during a 5k, whether that was an accutane related injury or me just running over obstacles awkwardly I don't know. That was related to the dry hari because I didn't work out for 2 weeks. I still showered every day but since I wasn't training I didn't sweat hence no need to wash my hair. At all. For 2 weeks. I just finally washed it because I felt gross. I get cuts and scrapes really easily now. My skin is as thin as tissue paper. I burn if I'm in the car too long on my chest and arms. So I put on sunscreen every day in those areas, always my face anyway, in case I get stuck in traffic and the sun is beating down through my car. My back kills me after I have a strenuous workout. But I use a heating pad and I'm alright the next day. I'm thinking about stopping taking my birth control pills since my boyfriend broke up with me and I don't see myself sleeping with anyone anytime soon. I have no desire to meet anyone let alone get to the point where we would be physically intimate. I don't know whether the accutane has made the blues hang around after the breakup longer or more intense otherwise, but I have never been this heartbroken before. Then again, I haven't loved anyone like I loved him. Oh well. I figure since I still hang out with my friends, go to work, exercise and still eat, there is no need for alarm. Just a case of heartbreak. I don't know if it's even worth mentioning to the doctor, that he'll just look at me and say, "Ummm, you're hurting, that's normal. When you have uncontrollable sadness and it affects your life call me. " On a happy note, I put in my notice at work and signed up for summer school to prepare for law school. Thought it would be good to take a super light class load to ease myself back into things since I've been out of school for 2 years. No regrets about taking this medication whatsoever. I have days where I just don't feel like making a high fat meal to take the meds with and just skip it until the next meal. Like the morning for example. Cereal is much easier than eggs. It's a convenience thing I guess. Otherwise, no issues. I get compliments on my skin all the time now. Someone said I looked airbrushed and all I had was sunscreen on. Maybe concealer on one spot. Anyway, hope everyone is progressing well. Wish you the best! Michelle

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

05/04/2010

 

Month 1 complete!

Had my follow up today. I was upped to 40mg twice a day. My blood results hadn't come back yet so I can't get my script till tomorrow or the day after. which is fine with me because I have two left that I didn't take this weekend. I had a cough that just would not go away, and I had read that Accutane may effect your immune system, so as a precaution, and knowing my appt wasn't until today, I skipped this weekend and slept a whole bunch. Doc told me I'll be on this amount through June, so my end date will be in the second week of July. Skin condition: I have 4 healing marks, I had a little breakout around my period. It was NOWHERE NEAR as bad as I would ususally get. My skin would erupt in tiny marks everywhere, a crop of pimples as I would call them. And let's not forget the cycts around my jawline, a couple on my neck, and at least 2 around each cheekbone. So month one down, already a mega improvement. Not oily at all. Because of my cough I didn't run last week. I showered every day, but didn't wash my hair. If I didn't feel like such a bum I wouldn't run just to see how long I could go without washing my hair. So as the exercise desire creeps up on me, I'm going to go back to the routine of adding Neutrogena T Gel shampoo a couple times a week to fight flakes and itching. I swear without it it feels like my head is sunburned. But man that stuff doesn't smell as nice as my normal shampoo, so I mix it in and load on the conditioner. Let me reiterate. I LOVE AQUAPHOR. Love it love it love it. If I have it, I only have to put it on every few hours, it lasts so long. My lips aren't scaly or in pain. But without it I freak out. Literally. I panic until I find chapstick. One time I left work to go to a gas station to get some chapstick. Without it my lips burn. Like the worst sunburn I've ever had. Or as if I had just eaten a couple habenero peppers. Clinique redness relief moisturizer keeps the tane burn at bay. My bosses wife did accutane in her twenties and was shocked I wasn't red. So consistent use of this stuff seems to help. I've used it from day one, so there is also the possibility that I won't have the redness side effect. But I think that since it's for rosacea prone skin, it has no fragrance, is gentle, and pretty much not doing any harm. I have been feeling a lot more tired than usual. Stress? Sickness? Who knows. I'll just power through it. I figure it's worth it. I'll just go to bed earlier. Totally worth it to not hate my reflection. Everyone is complementing my skin. I love it. My friends who have known me for twenty years are astounded. One of my besties is even jealous. My hormonal breakout wasn't as bad as hers! A first! My boyfriend notices a difference, I even let him touch my face because it's so soft. I didn't see him this week so hopefully these 4 little healers will be completely gone and he'll be none the wiser Personal note: I have been receiving mostly rejection letters for law school up until this past week. Three admissions and one offering an almost full scholarship! Yay! One less thing to stress about while I'm in school. Now maybe I won't have to work, can just go full time, and focus on my studies. Maybe get in to 10% so I can get on law review and graduate with honors! We'll see. At this point my concern will be keeping the scholarship. But I'm not signing any contracts just in case someone closer to home--aka free housing haha--offers me a scholarship. Life is looking good! To anyone who may read this and is suffering with acne, see a derm, talk to them. Don't mess with over the counter bs. See a doctor even if it's mild. They'll find the right combo for you. And if you had persistent/hormonal moderate like me, if you've tried everything, try accutane if you think it's right for you. It is not without the side effects, I'm tired, dry eyes, dry lips, my knees are hurting the first half mile of my run, and my lower back gets sore halfway through my day rather than if I work more than 9 hours. But for me, I'll embrace these side effects if it continues to cure my acne. Especially after only one month and seeing so much improvement.

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

03/16/2010

 

Day 13 - my skin is a desert

Skin condition - very dry lips, thank God for Aquaphor! Dry eyes, a couple drops a day is no big deal with the Visene tears. Only 3 small pimples on my left cheek, one INSIDE my eyebrow (weird), and one on my chin- small but painful. My face is looking alittle sunburned, I'm guessing that's the tane burn everyone talks about. Basically I love this medication. I went out with my friends last night to play some pool only with tinted moisturizer that I had put on in the early morning and my friend Eric said I looked different, like I was glowing and asked what I had changed in my skincare regimine. I haven't been complimented on my skin since early high school! I mean, besides when my derm commented on my good my skin tone and elasticity. Probably elastic because I'm an oil factory lol. My blister scabs on the tops of my toes from new shoes on Valentine's day still have not healed. And a cut on my thumb has been there for over a week and looks the same. If anyone reads this, do you know about how long your healing time is slowed? Prepare for adult content::: I'm nervous to have sex now because I know tiny tears are caused during sex, and I really don't want to damage my buisness and have to deal with the discomfort. Let alone associate pain with sex. Anyways, things are going well. Joint pain under control with flax seed and fish oil supplements. Scalp issues managed with jojoba oil right after shower. I put it on even before I towel wrap my hair otherwise it looks greasy the next day. Lots of water, and since I'm vegetarian I've been taking my pill with a little bowl of ice cream each night Goodnight! -Michelle

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

02/25/2010

 

Week one down. Day 7

Oh man my lips are dry! I forgot my Nivea kiss of relief before bed and geeze. Pain this morning. Even after lunch having lipbalm lost during the lunching process it was uncomfortable talking for 20 min with the other girls in the office for the rest of break. I'm going to attach myself to my chapstick. Acne wise: 2 new pimples, kinda small. One above my eyebrow, one on my left cheek. As for everything else, they're healing and ... get this... I only used tinted moisturizer today. That's it. No concealer. No base. No powder. Kiehls tinted moisturizer with spf. It felt great, I was early for work. my spots are small, just kinda red so once covered, I can almost convince myself I have nice skin! EEEEEEEEEEEkkkk! so freakin excited for the end result. Kinda worrried about how my skin will react the next time I start my monthly ladies cycle. (was that PC enough for you?) Trying to run every day, instead of my usual every other day, to keep healthy and counter the extra ice cream I've had every night with my pill. See, I used to only get ice cream or treats when I was out an about, never kept the good stuff in the house besides fruit. But, I told myself, because it's doctor's orders anyway to take this with a fatty meal, and I'm a vegetarian, I need something fatty to take the pill. Ice cream was necessary My knees and ankles are bothering me alittle more than ususal. I'll have to take an advil before I run outside the cold bothers me so much. Guess I'll up the glucosamine and flax seed oil for the ol' joints. Ran 2.25 miles the past 2 days! That may not be much, but it's huge for me. When I started working out again a little over a month ago, I could barely do a mile. And I mean barely. Huffing and Puffing the last lap/block/whatever. Half the time I would take breaks during the run the first couple weeks. I used to be athletic in school, softball, cheer, gymnastics. College I worked out to de-stress and fight the freshman 15. But the winter after I graduated, I got pneumonia and took a year and a half hiatus from exercise. Yah, I'd go to the gym 10 times in those 18 months. My laziness was astounding. No I just have to hope that the joint pain from the treatment doesn't kick me off the wagon. Got rejected from my first law school today Oh well, Berkeley Law was a long shot anyway, at least I have one acceptance under my belt. Just 6 more schools to hear from ! Anyways, good luck to all night night

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

02/19/2010

 

Day 5

Skin condition: new white heads in the crease of my chin and corner of my mouth, a few on my cheek. The painful ones on my forehead next to my hairline are healing. So yay! My skin is definitely more red. But the clinique redness solutions moisturizer helps calm it down. Lips a little more dry, eyes were bothering me by lunchtime. My redmarks on my cheeks are fading, or blending with the redness of my face on the whole. Nothing that a little tinted moisturizer won't fix in the morning! I tried not to pick. I really did. But you know I made it till about 530 before my run after work and gave in. But one I got to too hard, and now my skin peeled off. I'm done, I swear. For now. Side effects: my left shoulder is really bugging me. Not painful, but pulling pillowcases off was uncomfortable. Not sure whether its a side effect or delayed soreness from snowboarding. Or maybe I slept on it weird. Find myself drinking water more. I have a little of a headache now which has set in about an hour after my pill. Maybe I'm dehydrated, I did run pretty hard today. Time will tell. Anyways folks, or whomever reads this -the olympics and Lost are calling me. Love the winter games. Goodnight!

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

02/17/2010

Last Reply:
02/17/2010

 

Day/Night 4

Skin condition: Some new whiteheads - but I can't stand a screaming whitehead on my face so... yah I broke the cardinal rule on Accutane and picked. But carefully. Blackheads in the corners of my nose are coming to the surface, it's like i can alllllmost see them. I want to go to town on my face, but I just have to stop myself. Painful one on my neck, but it came to a head and with a little pressure popped this afternoon, now it's just super red. But it seems that I'm breaking out less than usual so it's not the dreaded IB. Side effects: my shoulder and knees are sore--think I'll up the fish/flax oil intake and throw in some Glucosamine. Dry lips but manageable, eyes feel like when I go visit my mom in the desert but the left one seems more itchy. My whole body was kinda itchy so I got some Aveeno skin relief body wash. It helped for sure. My scalp was kinda itchy too. Whether it was from all the hairspray I used yesterday to hold the curl for the big night out or it's drying out, I picked up some Jojoba oil at the health food store. My friend is a hairstylist, she recommended Bumble and Bumble's Alojoba shampoo/conditioner since it has jojoba in it. Yesterday I wore new shoes to dinner and the tops of my toes are covered in blisters. I hope the tane hasn't taken so much effect yet that they'll be slow to heal. They sting like nobody's business. Showering was not pleasant. It was so nice to not be so obsessive about how shiny I was! Usually I excuse myself a few times to use blotter sheets and/or powder. I only went once because I was unsure (not used to not illuminating the room with my forehead), and didn't even need anything! I love this prescription already. Wish I would've tried this all along and hand't fought it so hard. The clinique redness solutions day cream is so nice, fast absorbing, no fragrance, and has a cooling sensation. My face flushes so easy so this is just wonderful. Work still no fun, but I've come to ignore the supervisor that loves to tear us down to nothing. Other than that, just enjoying the olympics with some girl scout cookies and snuggling on the couch with my fluffy dog. She keeps me warm

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

02/16/2010

 

Day 1- or night 1.

So I was supposed to pick up my script yesterday, but it just snowed in the mountains and I couldn't resist a day off to snowboard my heart out. That and a shitty day at work coupled with a supportive boyfriend talking me into taking the day off didn't hurt either I took a shower in the cabin and turned out the lights after the SECOND I caught my reflection. He noticed. Said why do I hide behind my hair and turn away, it's not that bad that I'm beautiful. I know he means what he says, but I just don't believe it myself. Just took the first pill and I'm hoping beyond all hope that I don't get the IB before or on Sunday. Yah yah yah, that's only 1 more pill between now and "the big dinner out" but I want to look my best. Selfish? Yes. But I don't care, I would like to take one nice picture on a nice dinner out without scrutinizing the marks through my makeup. While I was waiting on my Claravis 40mg (for those who are wondering) I stocked up on goodies. Super moisturizing and breakage protective shampoo and conditioner. Biotin. Neutrogena Moisture wrap lotion, Aquaphor, Eucerin ointment for severely dry hands. Tomorrow I hit the Clinique counter for some of the moisturizer for upset skin. I can feel a gnarly one on my forehead next to my hairline, hard and painful. C'mon tane, do some work on the disaster zone known as my face!

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

02/13/2010

Last Reply:
02/13/2010

 

Background and beginning

Soooo yah, I'm finally taking the plunge. After being poked, prodded, lasered, dermabrased, drugged (antibiotics and BCP galore), and every OTC line imaginable I found a doc that is on board with me and Accutane. I used to be in denial about my skin. Oh, it's not bad enough for Accutane I would tell myself. But at the same time I would avoid mirrors - like an alcoholic on Dr Drews show drinking a handle of Captain a day... DENIAL. The thought of going outside without makeup terrified me. What if someone saw me like this?!?!?! Ugh. My skin was mild/moderate in high school, then went to mild and somewhat managable with Proactiv or Murad my last years of high school and majority of college. But then those wouldn't work. So I tried Kiehls. Which helped but didn't make it go away.And then I graduated. And it kept getting worse. But then my 20s hit, and it got worse. Cystic worse, jawline, cheek, painful. And even the tiny ones left the brightest redmarks you would think i was attacked by fireants! Dark hole in the wall dive bars became my haven for a social life. Cosmetics were my crack. Primer, preconceal, foundation, post conceal, finishing powder. Literally my mask to hide behind. It sucks because when you have bad skin (like us on the org do) you come to accept somewhat of an improvement as "as good as it gets." But then my roommate with perfect skin would ask if I was gonna do my makeup before we went out. I had already. I'm sorry Ms Perfect skin never had a pimple bigger than a penmark, let me go hide in my cave like Quasimodo so as to not embarass you or throw off your game. My boyfriend lives in my old hometown so I would go down to visit for weekends at a time. I would stay up longer than he would at night just so I could wait till he was asleep to take off my makeup and prep my skin. I would wake up in the middle of the night/early morning (he gets up early) to put on some bare minerals concealer so he wouldnt see me au naturale when he/we woke up. His skin is perfect. But because of Accutane. He was the one that finally changed my mind. He came up here and saw my cabinet of potions. He saw stuff he tried in high school and told me to cut the crap and just do it, it worked for him, and was totally worth it. He was right! Why delude myself to think "it's not that bad"?!!? Oh but it is. But not anymore (I hope), I start Accutane this week. I'll post some photos of my most recent breakout (starting my cycle next week so yay PMS, bloating, and breakouts... mmmmm I will be super sexy for Valentines. Wonderful. Thursday is my appointment. The say of reckoning, vive la revolucion! As Mel and Danny say in Lethal Weapon 4 (yah I just dated myself, you know you love those movies too..) "I'm too old for this sh***"

Mee_shell

Mee_shell

02/08/2010

Last Reply:
02/08/2010

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